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Simeone calls for faster start from Atletico

20 August 2012 12:07

Atletico Madrid manager Diego Simeone has criticised his players for not playing for the full 90 minutes on Sunday.

The Europa League champions came from behind to draw 1-1 away to Levante in their opening game of the 2012/13 La Liga season.

But the Argentine coach said his team will need to improve in the opening exchanges of matches if success is to be achieved this season.

"I don't think we started well," he said.

"We have to work harder at the beginning of games"

"We finished playing after 80 minutes of the game because the team weren't able to start well enough in the first five or 10 minutes.

"That's what you can expect when you do not start well. After that, the team took care of the game, playing the match that we thought we'd play, getting very close to Angel and Barkero and playing in their half of the pitch.

"We couldn't create a lot of chances, but Levante closed us down very well , like we knew that they would.

Nabil El Zhar put Levante ahead inside the opening five minutes before Turkish international Arda Turan drew Atletico level 15 minutes later.

From there the visitors dominated, but Simeone was left to rue his side's lack of cutting edge up front.

"We had a lot of possession and some chances to score goals," the 42-year-old said.

"I am not sure how many chances the two teams had, but I think there were a few of them.

"Levante played their game, and we tried to break their defence, but that was something we struggled with.

"We had tried to attack, but in the last few metres our strikers did not have enough depth."

Atletico host Athletic Bilbao in their next La Liga match on Monday before attempting to win the UEFA Super Cup for the second time in three years when they go head-to-head with Champions League winners Chelsea.

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Saturday 23 August

Friday 22 August

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Thursday 21 August

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Primera División table

# Team MP D P
1 0 +0 0
2 0 +0 0
3 0 +0 0
4 0 +0 0
5 0 +0 0
6 0 +0 0
7 0 +0 0
8 0 +0 0
9 0 +0 0
10 0 +0 0
11 0 +0 0
12 0 +0 0
13 0 +0 0
14 0 +0 0
15 0 +0 0
16 0 +0 0
17 0 +0 0
18 0 +0 0
19 0 +0 0
20 0 +0 0

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